Tipperary TD Michael Lowry is concerned that Government decisions will lead to the closure of multiple viable businesses. The TD says while all operators are facing increased costs, hospitality and retail in particular are facing a battle to keep their doors open in the year ahead.
The TD notes that the Government is now in the process of compiling a report on the implications of it’s decisions following outrage from leading business representative groups detailing the impact that the announced labour cost increases will have.
The Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC), ‘RGDATA, the Convenience Store and Newsagents Association (CSNA) and the Small Firms Association (SFA) have all expressed their concerns for the future. RGDATA estimates that increased employee costs will amount to some €4,000 per employee per year.
IBEC states that moves by a number of Government Departments and agencies have combined to create ‘the most significant cost competitiveness challenge faced by businesses since the pre-financial crisis period’.
IBEC’s analysis shows that more than € 4 billion will be added annually to the wage bill of employers from new costs including the Government’s commitment to a living wage by 2026, the introduction of Pension Auto enrolment, increases in employers’ PRSI and non-indexation of PRSI thresholds, broadening of statutory sick pay and more Annual Leave entitlements for workers. The state is proposing a grant scheme – the Increased Cost of Business(ICOB) worth €257M to assist operators with the higher costs.